Building Mental Walls: Israeli Textbooks as a Means of Legitimation


A conversation with Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Language and Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Each year, Israel's young men and women are drafted into compulsory military service and are required to carry out Israel's policies in the Palestinian occupied territories. Most Israeli boys and girls never question this durty because they are indoctrinated from a very young age to see it as their natural and necessary national service to protect their homeland against Palestinian "invaders." Their schoolbooks use discursive, linguistic and visual startegies to dehumanize Palestinian citizens and non-citizens alike by presenting them as a "developmental burden," a "frightful demographic problem" and as a contstant "security threat."

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